I had a strong desire to visit our family deity Sri Ranganatha Swamy also known as Mavinakere Ranga in Mavinakere and I could fulfill this desire last year. I had heard that we have to trek on a rugged path to the temple situated on a rocky hillock. We were pleasantly surprised to find a road built and 660 well laid out steps to the temple. Thanks to the trustees and the local politicians for this useful initiave.
Mavinakere village is located near Holenarasipura, Hassan District. Mavinkere, was the residence of Palegar Lakshmana Nayaka and a ruined fort belonging to the Palegar is situated here.
There are two famous ancient temples in Mavinakere, one is the Mavinakere Sri Lakshmi Venkataramanaswamy temple and the other is Bettada Shri Ranganatha Temple atop the Mavinkere Betta/hill.
Mavinakere Sri Lakshmi Venkataramanaswamy temple
While driving from Hassan, take a right on the highway near Mavinakere and drive for 1.5 Km to reach Sri Lakshmi Venkataramanaswamy temple. There is a board with this information. It is situated a few meters away from Hemavathi river. The idol is about 3 feet high and very divine. The idol is in the form of Chathurbhuja (4 hands) with the right lower hand holding a lotus with a stalk.
Goddess Padmavathi is installed in a separate shrine inside the temple.
The gopuram / tower of the temple was newly built and the Khumbabhishekha was performed on 22nd Jan 2010 on a grand scale. A single branch of a very old tree is surviving in this temple with the courtyard wall as a support.
Bettada Sri Ranganathaswamy temple
While driving from Hassan you will find an arch on a left side of the road that leads to Bettada Sri Ranganathaswamy temple. Take that left and drive for 2.5 Km up the hill to reach the temple. The rock and the tower built over it is visible from far.
When Palegara Sri Lakshminarasimha Nayaka ruled this region, he noticed that one of his cows was emptying its milk on top of the Mavinakerebetta / hill. Out of curiosity, he followed the cow and indeed it was emptying on a stone in the cave. From that day onwards, the stone is worshiped as Lord Ranganatha, though at that time there was dispute that the stone was Shiva linga. The inscriptions call the deity as Thiruvengalanatha, who is none other than Lord Srinivasa / Balaji. It does not matter whether it is Lord Ranganatha or Srinivasa both are none other than the protector Lord Vishnu.
To this day, the offerings are offered right on top of the god. There is a 3 feet standing idol of the lord behind the Ranganatha stone.
On the other side of the cave is a Hanuman sculpted on a rock. The view from the hills is spectacular with cultivated lands and roads criss crossing them. Hemavathi River flows on one side and you can see the Gopuram / tower of Sri Lakshmi Venkataramanaswamy temple.
A cave at the foothill is two feet high stone and a rare phenomenon occurs here. Minute particles fall in the form of concentric circles around the bottom. Folk lore says that these particles have medicinal properties though nothing is proved yet.
We spotted few birds and they posed very well for us to take pictures.
Updated on Nov 2nd 2012:
We visited Hemavathy river flowing in Mavinakere and it was a beautiful sight. Please do not swim in the river it is very dangerous.
Founder trustees of the temples are Late Smt Seethalakshmi, Sri Anantharamiah, K.R.Kumar.
Type of place: Ancient temple
Situated: Holenarasipura Taluk, Hassan District, Karnataka
Distance: Mavinakere, which is 8kms from Holenarasipura, 20 Km from Hassan, 200 Km from Bangalore, 88 Km from Mysore
Transport: Well connected by road and rail
Facilities: Guest houses are available on top of the hill
Timings: 9.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. to 5;00 p.m
Address: Mavinkere Post, Holenarasipura Taluk, Hassan District – 573 211
Sri Lakshmi Venkataramanaswamy temple: Priest, Sri M.S.Janardhan – 97411 99659, 08172 – 265335, 316000
Bettada Sri Ranganathaswamy temple: Priest, Sri Mohan Priest – 9902309709